Researchers have built a chip with the equivalent of 200,000 neurons and 50 million synapses in an effort to mimic a human brain in silicon. I, for one, welcome our simple-minded overlords. From Technology Review:
Although the chip has a fraction of the number of neurons or connections found in a brain, its design allows it to be scaled up, says Karlheinz Meier, a physicist at Heidelberg University, in Germany, who has coordinated the Fast Analog Computing with Emergent Transient States project, or FACETS.
The hope is that recreating the structure of the brain in computer form may help to further our understanding of how to develop massively parallel, powerful new computers, says Meier…
FACETS has been tapping into the same databases. "But rather than simulating neurons," says Karlheinz, "we are building them." Using a standard eight-inch silicon wafer, the researchers recreate the neurons and synapses as circuits of transistors and capacitors, designed to produce the same sort of electrical activity as their biological counterparts.